Gaming Hype: Toyota FT-1 Vision GT Now Playable In Gran Turismo 6 (With Video)

Posted on 09.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In another bout of video game news, today an update was released for Gran Turismo 6 which includes the Toyota FT-1 Vision GT.  As the name suggests the Vision GT is a race version of the FT-1 Vision road car concept that Toyota built for the Gran Turismo “Vision” project.  “Vision” cars (for now) can only be driven in the pristine virtual world that is Gran Turismo, so if you’ve ever wanted to know what its like to get behind the wheel of a pure-bred motorsport version of an already outrageous car then fire up the ol’ PS3 and download the update, its totally free!

If you want to see how the real life version of the FT-1 Vision GT came to life check out the video below:

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Demo Out Today On Xbox Live. Launch Pack DLC, VIP Membership Benefits, Car Pass Announced.

Posted on 09.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Forza horizon 2 releases in just two weeks but starting today you can try it out for yourself by downloading the demo on Xbox Live.  To further entice potential Forza addicts Turn 10 studios has also announced the details of Forza Horizon VIP membership.  If that weren’t enough they also announced 8 free DLC cars that will be available at launch!  If they actually offer a kitchen sink I think I might be sold…  Anyway, lets get into the details of the goodies shall we?

First off is the 8 free DLC cars that will be available at launch.  Seriously, Forza has been giving away so many cars its like they’re Oprah (I’ve waited a long time to use that joke so make with the lol’s!).  Anyway here is the list of cars that players can get their hands on right away: 2003 Ford Focus RS, 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, 1993 Clio Williams, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 1987 Buick Regal GNX, 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV, 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse, 1956 Ford F-100.  A pretty eclectic mix if you ask me.  You have a hot hatch in the Focus RS, Muscle in the ’15 Mustang GT, and obscure classic in the Abarth 595 esseesse (how the heck is “esseesse” pronounced?!?!).  On paper the DLC sounds like a nice starting point to play in Forza Horizon 2’s open world.

Next up is the new VIP membership.  Since Forza Horizon is always based around a “festival” style event they are likening VIP membership as something of a “backstage pass.”  VIP membership provides access to “exclusive benefits” in Forza Horizon 2.  The first of which is a 5 car DLC pack which includes the 2012 Lamborghini Urus, 2014 Tesla Model S, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1949 Mercury Coupe, and the 2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO.  VIP members also get “2x player in-game reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition.”  VIP membership will set players back $19.95.  However, current Forza Motorsport 5 VIP members can buy Horizon 2 VIP membership for half off at $9.99.

If you are already firmly in the Forza Horizon 2 camp and for sure going to pick it up then you might be interested in the “Car Pass”.  This basically nets players all of the future DLC (at least 31 cars according to Turn 10) over the next six months in one pre-purchase for $24.95.  Purchase of the Car Pass will also include the 2010 Nobile M600 as a bonus exclusive car.

Whew, is that everything? Oh, wait!  Anyone who has already decided they want to buy Forza Horizon 2 and really eager to have their copy ASAP can “pre-download” it starting today.  Basically, a player would use their Xbox Live account, purchase the game as a download, download the entire game to their console, and then be given instant access to it on the release date (September 30th, 2014).

Ok, I think that covers it all.  Forza Horizon 2 is really shaping up to be a pretty big release this year.  If things work out I will give you my first hand account of Forza Horizon 2 in the form of a review.  I will keep you all posted!  In the meantime I encourage anyone curious about the game to download the demo and get a first impression!  For more info hit up the Forza Horizon 2 website.

Press Release:

Eight Free Downloadable Cars Coming to Forza Horizon 2 at Launch

Bonus DLC Car Pack bringing 2015 Mustang GT and more to game

Forza Horizon 2 is just weeks away and, soon, Forza fans the world over will be exploring the wide-open high-speed highways and breakneck back roads of southern Europe. By now, you’re probably aware that Forza Horizon 2 will ship with more than 200 amazing cars, all built from the ground up on Xbox One. Forza has always been about bringing fans the best content, whether that’s world debut cars like Roll-Royce Wraith or track add-ons like Long Beach, Road America, and the Nürburgring.

As is the case with all Forza games, we’ll constantly be updating Forza Horizon 2 with fresh new content. Beginning on Sept. 30 to coincide with the release of Forza Horizon 2, we’ll be launching a brand new pack for the game: the Forza Horizon 2 Launch Bonus Car Pack. This car pack will feature eight cars representing the awesome variety that can be found in the Forza Horizon 2 car roster – from rough-and-tumble trucks like the 1956 Ford F-100 to the raw power represented by the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The Launch Bonus Pack will include three never-before-seen vehicles in the Forza franchise: the 2003 Ford Focus RS, the 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, and the 1993 Clio Williams. Best of all, all eight of the cars featured in the Launch Bonus Car Pack will be available to all Forza Horizon 2 players at launch for no additional cost.

Here’s the full list of cars in the Launch Bonus Car Pack:

  • 2003 Ford Focus RS
  • 1997 Land Rover Defender 90
  • 1993 Clio Williams
  • 2015 Ford Mustang GT
  • 1987 Buick Regal GNX
  • 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse
  • 1956 Ford F-100

In addition to the Launch Bonus Car Pack, today we’re also announcing the details for Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership (discounted for current Forza Motorpsort 5 VIPs) and the Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass. As in Forza Motorsport 5, each purchased add-on car can be added to your in-game garage one time for free – without additional in-game credits.

VIP Membership

Forza Horizon 2 VIP Membership (regular $19.99; 50 percent off or $9.99 for Forza Motorsport 5 VIP members) is like a backstage pass at the Horizon Festival, giving you access to cool content you can only get here. VIP members will receive exclusive benefits in Forza Horizon 2, including the VIP Car Pack, featuring five cars (four of which are brand new to the Forza franchise). These five cars include the 2012 Lamborghini Urus, 2014 Tesla Model S, 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, 1949 Mercury Coupe, and the 2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO. VIP membership also awards with 2x player in-game reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition. Current Forza Motorsport 5 VIPs receive a $10 discount on digital purchases of Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership or any Forza Horizon 2 digital offer that includes VIP membership. (Note that this discount only applies to digital offers of Forza Horizon 2.)

Car Pass

The Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass ($24.99) gets you access to six monthly pack add-ons beginning in October, with each pack featuring five amazing cars. That’s six monthly car packs for the price of five! Plus, Car Pass owners will receive an exclusive bonus car for free: the 2010 Noble M600. That’s 31 cars to collect, race, and customize in Forza Horizon 2! Look for more details on the first monthly car pack for Forza Horizon 2 coming soon!

Demo/Pre-Download Available Now

We’ve saved the best for last: the Forza Horizon 2 demo for Xbox One is here! Starting today you can download the demo for the game on Xbox Live and get a tantalizing taste for the game we’ll all be playing starting on Sept. 30. In addition the game is now available for pre-order at your local retailer and for pre-order/pre-download in the Xbox Store.

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Launch Trailer Drops. Is Full Of Shiny Cars, EDM, And Awesome

Posted on 09.11.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Forza Horizon 2 will arrive on store shelves at the end of this month (September 30th) so the launch party is starting to get rolling.  It kicked off with a bright, shiny, EDM-fueled trailer that just released a few moments ago.  The new trailer shows off most of what we can expect from the next Horizon game featuring everything from crazy off roading with Rally Fighters to racing trains with WRX’s.  If you avoid blinking you can see a sample of all the cars that will make an appearance in the game but if you want a full list of all 210 cars that will be available at launch hit up the Forza Horizon website.

In addition to the trailer Turn 10 Studios also released some information on how the “Forza Rewards” system will work with Forza Horizon 2.  Essentially, the “Forza Rewards” program will gift free cars to players who have earned x amount of points just from playing Forza games.  According to Turn 10 players started earning Forza Reward points way back in the Forza Motorsport 2 days.  Points are earned by playing and/or doing different things in each Forza game.  In Forza Motorsport 5 points are rewarded based on how many cars a player owns, how many miles they have driven, etc.  The amount of points a player has will determine what “tier” they are in.

Based on the tier a player falls into they will be able to choose up to 5 (non-DLC) cars to add to their Forza Horizon 2 garage right away.  It breaks down like so:

Tier Level Car
2 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
3 2013 Viper GTS
4 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
5 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter
6 2013 McLaren P1

Nice line up right?  Still, there may be some out there who have never played the first Forza Horizon game and might be on the fence about this new one.  To those people I would suggest trying out the Forza Horizon 2 demo which comes out for Xbox One on September 16th (next Tuesday).  Anyone that is still on the fence after that can check out our full review of Forza Horizon 2 to get our take on it.

For now check out the new launch trailer below and stay tuned for more Forza Horizon 2 updates!

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Movie Hype: Glorious New OFFICIAL Picture Of New Batmobile Surfaces. It Has Guns.

Posted on 09.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Yesterday the internet was turned upside down when several “spy shots” of the new Batmobile from the coming “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” movie surfaced.  An individual who claimed to be working in the area where filming is currently taking place spotted the new Batmobile parked in an alley and covered in dust.  He quickly pulled out his phone, snapped a few pictures and uploaded them to Instagram; moments later Instagram exploded.  OK, it didn’t actually explode but things definitely jumped off.  The grainy night shots quickly made the rounds from movie nerd sites to other automotive sites.  Everyone was talking about it.

However, there was a problem: the pictures sucked and the car was filthy.  Most people didn’t care but no self-respecting Hollywood director would have one of his main props floating around on the internet looking shabby so Zack Snyder (the director) took to Twitter last night and posted a new picture “official” Batmobile picture.  In the new shot (as seen above) the Batmobile is really featured in all its glory with big honking guns pointed right at the camera.  That may throw off most Batman fans as the Dark Knight is known for his aversion to firearms but its quite possible that those gun turrets fire rubber bullets.  Whether you agree with the guns or not its hard to admit they don’t look pretty badass sitting there.

For a larger version of the new Batmobile image as well as the earlier leaked pictures click the thumbnails below.

BatmanVSuperman_Batmobile_1 BatmanVSuperman_Batmobile_9-10-14

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Hype: Mercedes Benz Reveals Curvaceous AMG GT Coupe (Gallery)

Posted on 09.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT

Did you wake up this morning extremely excited?  Did you spend the first few hours glued to your computer screen?  Of course you did but probably not for the same reason I am referring to.  While you were busy watching Tim Cook reveal the new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, Mercedes Benz was revealing their new flagship performance car, the AMG GT.  Meant as a replacement for the very lauded SLS, the AMG GT has some pretty big tires to fill.  So how does the AMG GT measure up?  Lets find out…

First thing’s first.  The AMG GT does look similar to the SLS but it is definitely evolved design-wise from its predecessor.  The AMG GT Coupe is very curvy.  The SLS has its fair share of curves as well but there are a few hard edges in its design but the GT coupe has a very sculpted, fluid look.  You would be hard pressed to find an edge or hard lines.  Its also appears to be slightly shorter than the SLS and its front grill is very reminiscent of the radical GT Vision concept MB built for Gran Turismo 6.

AMG’s new coupe will be available in two trims: The GT S and the “base” GT.  What’s the difference?  In a word: performance.  The GT S features a more powerful twin-turbo V8 engine which makes 503HP to the GT’s 456HP.  Both those numbers are down over the out going SLS however the GT will offer a whole host of other performance tweaks that may make up for the lack in horses.  For example the GT S will have a system dubbed “AMG DYNAMIC PLUS” as an option.  This system features dynamic engine and transmission mounts.  Yes, the engine and tranny mounts can move depending on the conditions to help optimize weight distribution!  It will also feature the obligatory electronically controlled dampening system to dial dampers in to specific situations (sport, road, etc).  Both trims will put their power down through seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions with locking differentials.  Ceramic brakes are also available as an option on both GT S and GT.

The interior is as cushy as you might imagine.  In the photos it does seem that they were leaning more towards “luxury” this time but there are lots of racy performance-based cues such as the flat bottom alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and the decision to forgo a full digital dash and sticking with race-inspired traditional needle gauges.  However the center console is teaming with dials and buttons to control all of the electronic goodies.  It looks to be a bit overwhelming and against the trend of simplifying interior tech interfaces the way Audi has over the last few years.  I can see it being a potential sticking point when the reviews start rolling in.

Mercedes Benz has made it clear that they are aiming at the Porsche 911 and the Audi R8 (V8) with the new GT Coupe.  I personally find that somewhat troubling.  With the mighty SLS they had no qualms going after the likes of Ferrari.  Now  they aim at Porsche (who doesn’t) and the 2nd stringer R8?  It makes me wonder if there is yet another car coming down the pipe from Germany that we may yet to know about.  Or maybe, Mercedes Benz just decided that its in their better interests to go after a bigger market of those affluent individuals who want near supercar performance in a package that is easily daily drivable.  When I think deeper about it I can’t really fault them for that.

Really it just seems like Mercedes Benz is doing everything differently when it comes to this new offering.  Take the release dates for example the GT S comes out next spring while the standard GT isn’t due until 2016.  Typically, the protocol is to release the “standard” version first then hit everyone with the high performance model but Mercedes has even flipped that on its head.  In a refreshing move the ravenous performance-addicts get their fix first!

Sure, the GT Coupe may not be as powerful as the SLS on paper but I am sure it will be lighter, more capable in the corners, and more accessible (AKA less $$$) as well.  These days things are less about max HP and more about driving experience.  With a chassis that can move the engine and transmission for optimal weight distribution on the fly, the GT Coupe may just have us asking “SLS who?”

For now, you can check out a (short) spec sheet and all the official pictures in the embedded facebook gallery below:

Spec Sheet:

AMG GT AMG GT S
MSRP TBD TBD
Fuel Economy TBD TBD
Engine 4.0L twin-turbo V8 handbuilt
AMG engine
4.0L twin-turbo V8 handbuilt
AMG engine
Drive Configuration Rear-Wheel Drive Rear-Wheel Drive
Performance 456 hp
443 lb-ft torque
503 hp
479 lb-ft torque
Transmission 7-Speed AMG Dual Clutch
with Manual Shifting Mode
7-Speed AMG Dual Clutch
with Manual Shifting Mode
0-60 (sec.) 3.9 (est.) 3.7 (est.)

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Hype: Mercedes Benz Releases “Virutal” Teaser Of AMG-GT Via Instagram

Posted on 09.05.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In about 5 days Mercedes Benz will officially debut their new AMG-GT coupe to the planet Earth.  However, for those extra anxious to see it Mercedes just dropped a few teaser images of the car on their Instagram account.  The only catch is the images show the virtual version of the AMG-GT which will appear in #DRIVECLUB for Playstation 4.  The two images posted show a rear shot of the AMG-GT and an interior shot but since both pictures are in “twilight” it is hard to make out too many details in either shot.  But hey! It’s better than a stick in the eye!  Click the thumbnails below to check out the two pictures.

Mercedes_AMG-GT_DriveClub_Teaser_1 Mercedes_AMG-GT_DriveClub_Teaser_2

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Hype News: Mazda Debuts Re-Designed 2016 MX-5 Roadster….And Duran Duran Was There! (Gallery)

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Just moments ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca the proverbial sheet was pulled off the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Roadster.  Actually, it suddenly accelerated out of the darkness towards a group of people but it stopped just in time!  As you can see from the title picture, the new MX-5 has been completely re-designed and it looks…  Well, I’m not sure how it looks but I know I like it!  Sure, its not perfect (the headlights are a bit…yeah..) but I love the dimensions, the curves, the hip line, it all looks much better than previous iterations.  And let me be the first to say that FINALLY THE MX-5 ISN’T “CUTE” ANYMORE!  Thank the car gods!

We still do not have any hard performance numbers on the new MX-5 yet, but we do know that thanks to its new chassis its 200lbs lighter than the outgoing MX-5.  I am holding out hope that Mazda will bring the 2016 MX-5 to the LA Auto Show later this year and with it, much more info!

For now check out the gallery of official pictures below as well as the press release.

2016MazdaMX-5_1 2016MazdaMX-5_2 2016MazdaMX-5_3 2016MazdaMX-5_4 2016MazdaMX-5_5

2016MazdaMX-5_6

Press Release:

Mazda Motor Corporation today celebrated the unveiling of the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 (known as Roadster in Japan) together with fans at events held simultaneously in Japan, USA and Spain. The all-new MX-5, which adopts both SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and Mazda’s KODO—Soul of Motion design language, will be rolled out to global markets starting in 2015.

The MX-5 is an iconic model representing Mazda’s vehicle-engineering philosophy—the pursuit of driving pleasure. “Innovate in order to preserve” was the motto for the fourth generation, as the development team searched for innovations that go beyond simple evolution. Environmental and safety demands are much more stringent than they were when the first generation MX-5 was introduced 25 years ago, but the fourth generation stays true to the model’s original aim of offering the pure driving fun that only a lightweight sports car can. It achieves this through the adoption of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and refinement of its appeal to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars.

The design of the all-new MX-5 reveals another layer to Mazda’s KODO design language. The exquisite proportions make the driver and passenger stand out, and both the interior and exterior evoke the exhilaration of open-top driving. It is the most compact of any generation MX-5 so far and is more than 100 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces, promising a dramatic leap in Jinba-ittai driving fun.

As of July 2014, total production volume of the Mazda MX-5 exceeded 940,000 units and it continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the best-selling two-seater sports car. This highly-celebrated model has received over 200 awards from around the globe including Japan Car of the Year 2005-2006.

Moving forward, Mazda will continue to develop products which offer all customers driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance.

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Gaming Hype: Tons Of Codemasters F1 2014 Gameplay Video!

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The next Formula One game from Codemasters is coming this October (a month earlier than usual) and we are going to present to you four reasons why we have high hopes for this game.  Check out the four “hot lap” videos below taken from actual game play as a preview of things to come.  Naturally, should we get a copy we will do a full review of F1 2014 and let you know if its worth purchasing.  For now we are pretty optimistic!  Now stop reading and start watching below!

Sochi Hot Lap:

Spa Hot Lap:

Red Bull Ring Hot Lap:

Bahrain Hot Lap:

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Demo Coming Next Month

Posted on 08.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Despite how packed it seemed to me when I was there, only a small fraction of the planet’s population got to attend the E3 expo or Gamescom this year and thus far those were the only times when Forza Horizon 2 was available to play to the somewhat general public.  However, that is about to change!  It was announced today that a Forza Horizon 2 demo is coming next month!  Yes!  Finally, many more people will get to enjoy driving through a grassy field in a brand new Lamborghini Huracan!  The demo will be available on Xbox Live on September 16th.  Unfortunately, despite the fact that when the game releases on September 30th it will be available for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 the demo next month will only be on Xbox One.  If you already have an Xbox One then you’re set!  If not then well, you’ll have to wait a bit longer before you get a chance to play; OR you can find a friend who has an Xbox One and go play at their house!

Right now we don’t know what cars will be available in the demo but I would not be surprised if it was the same offering of cars offered at the E3 demo with a few added extras.  If you do get to play the demo and are unsure if you want to pick up the game or if you miss out on the demo completely hopefully our review will help you come to a decision!  Stay tuned!

[Source: Microsoft]

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Hype Video: BMW Tapps Chris Forsberg To “Initiate” M4 Coupe To The M Family With Drifting

Posted on 08.26.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

BMW_M4_Drifting_Video_ChrisForsberg

The M4 is the newest edition to the M family and is taking a prominent role by replacing the M3 coupe.  That is a tall order for a new car with such a rich heritage!  If previous generation M3’s were real people they might be a bit skeptical of this new edition.  BMW, being empathetic to this decided it would introduce the M4 coupe to its M3 coupe predecessors in style.  How? By tapping Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg to drift around them!  Scroll down for two minutes of German-engineered sideways action!

 

WARNING: RANDOM SPECULATION BELOW!

Ok that was a cool video right? Yet, it made me think about something… Why was Chris Forsberg chosen to be the driver for this video? Granted he is definitely a skilled driver but a company like BMW could have grabbed any Hollywood stunt driver for this.  Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye…  Could Chris Forsberg be in negotiations with BMW for the 2015 Formula Drift season?  This isn’t the first video put out by BMW this year which features drifting so they obviously have an interest in it and if trends continue Chris Forsberg is on track to be the 2014 Formula Drift champion.  So, If BMW were to make a foray into Formula Drift it is likely they would want to do it with the reigning champion.  Of course all of this is pure speculation and there is no hard evidence to support this theory, but its fun to imagine!

What do you think?  Will Chris Forsberg leave Nissan for BMW?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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